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June 20, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7B le boosters:' (:la ims are too goc00a to be true C-FORCE HEALTH AND FITNESS CHUCK NORRIS info@creators.com Q: Chuck, lots of muscle- building products out there advertise huge results, in- cluding the bonus of in- creased libidos. Recommend any of them? --"Looking for Muscle" Minnesota A: Big claims abound on bottles lining the billion-dol- lar industry of weight loss and muscle building. And with failed spring diets lead- ing to flabby summer dis- plays, right now the fruit for quick fixes is ripe for the picking. Since the rise and outlaw of anabolic steroids -- synthetic hormones that imitate testos- terone and increase muscle mass -- marketers have cre- ated myriad "natural prod- uct" alternatives they claim can mimic their effects and speed safely. But are they re- ally safe? Among the newer ingredi- ents in these muscle-mojo products are Tribulus ter- restris and Eurycoma longi- folia, which are herbs pitched as boosters of hormones -- particularly testosterone. (I even have seen these herbs in teas and coffees.) Add a pinch of ginkgo, horny goat weed, arginine and zinc and, pill marketers tout, you'll be- come an Abercrombie & Fitch model by the end of the month. Remember the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? The teamSf nutritionists who pen the University of California, Berkeley Well- ness Letter offers some of the most reputable health wis- dom and resources. The nu- tritionists warned consumers about muscle supplements that contain Tribulus ter- restris: "Despite the claims, there's no scientific evidence (Tribu- lus terrestris and Eurycoma longifolia) build muscle or do anything to enhance perfor- mance. As to their safety, Dr. Gary Wadler, associate pro- fessor of clinical medicine at New York University, told the Wellness Letter that his concern was not whether Tribulus builds biceps, but that the herb has been linked to 'staggers' in sheep, a dis- ease causing paralysis and weallness, as well as other disorders. Darin Van Gam- meren, an exercise physiolo- gist at the University of Flori- da, adds that Tribulus has no known benefits for athletes, and that no toxicity studies have ever been done in hu- mans. But several studies have shown it to be harmful in animals." Even though I've read many articles by nutrition- ists recommending Tribulus as a natural aid, Berkeley's experts label it and other components in these muscle- and mojo-building cocktails "andro (steroid) siblings and look-alikes." Wadler has watched weight-loss aids be banned by the Food and Drug Administration and then reappear under a similar ' proxy and disguise. The problem is that all herbs are not created equal, and some even can be harm- ful, especially if mixed with other additives and chemical agents, natural or otherwise. Though most herbs bear. life-building agents, some can s be hazardous to your health. Just because most herbs might have some benefit to particular body organs doesn't mean they can't have adverse effects on others, es- pecially if in a chemical cock- tail. And I've addressed only Tribulus, just one primary ingredient. A while ago, Men's Health magazine frowned on five other so- called ene.rgy- and muscle- building agents, based upon reputable scientific studies: --Liquid creatine. The magazine called it "one of the biggest shams in supplement history." --Chitosan. A couple of reputable studies show claims of this alleged "fat trapper" extracted from shell- fish as unsubstantiated: --L-carnitine. Though some research confirms this amino acid's benefits for fat oxidation, most studies shows its ineffectiveness as a supplement for energy and metabolism. --Pyruvate. Though a few studies show its effectiveness to stimulate metabolism, the recommended dosage to do so is too costly and caustic for its benefits. --Ribose. Though showing some benefit for the cardio- vascular system, it lacks luster as an exercise perfor- mance enhancer. Bottom line: Examine every last component and element of any supplement you take. And be leery of any product that says it can pro- duce gigantic results in minimal amounts of time. If product information doesn't give you a reputable produc- tion plant, if its claims are not tested and proved in trustworthy studies by real experts, best to just pass it by. When we start treating our own bodies like pharmaceuti- cal test labs or lab rats, you can be sure that we're walking down the wrong nu- tritional road. Messing with human growth hormone pro- duction without professional consultation can be danger- ous health business -- prac- ticing medicine without a license. The Berkeley Wellness Let- ter concludes: "By affecting hormones (such as testos- terone), these substances could have serious long-term adverse effects, including blood-clotting disorders, in- creased aggression, reduced HDL ('good') cholesterol, and liver problems. In men, they can also cause breast enlarge- ment, testicle shrinkage, in- creased body hair, and accel- erated growth of prostate cancer. In women, they could cause male pattern baldness, excessive facial hair, deep- ened voice, and possibly ab- normal menstruation and in- creased risk of breast and en- dometrial cancer." That is why I always say that before adding or adjust- ing any supplements -- in- cluding herbs -- to your diet, you should Consult with your physician, p.harmacist or health practitioner. Otherwise, your passion for muscle and mojo could lead to oe massive meltdown. Having shared what doesn't work, I will write next week about eight muscle-building supplements that do. Write to Chuck Norris (info@creators.com) with questions about health and fitness. Copyright 2012 Chuck Norris Distributed by creators.com K! NG Western tIospitalityl at its bst! Celebrate with us... WeddillgS, family evel, busine meetings, company parties, Family Style Ranch Meals Group Rates Reservations 1-800-33-HOWDY (530)283-0930 2116 Greenhorn Ranch Rd. Quincy We have the perfect location for all your celebrations ... We accept all competitor coupons Sonshine Flowers Made-to-order arrangements, plants, plush animals, bath and body, gift baskets, and other gift accessories. 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